SOTU Address: Trump Delivered His Speech Very Well, But Too Little, Too Late


I watched Trump's entire address. I thought he delivered his message very well. But it will not persuade any Democrats.

My take and that of the Wall Street Journal editorial board are quite similar. First, let's tune into Trump’s Bipartisan Pitch.

President Trump used his State of the Union address Tuesday to highlight his achievements and make a pitch for bipartisan cooperation in Congress. Overall it was an effective piece of political rhetoric, especially his defense of his tax and deregulation policies and their results. But we doubt he reframed the political debate in a way that will give Democrats much pause going forward this year.

Mr. Trump likes these moments before Congress, no doubt because he savors the political theater. But they are also notable—and perhaps instructive to Americans who won’t follow politics obsessively—because they are among the few times he bothers to make an extended argument about political substance.

Amid the daily distractions of Robert Mueller and his Twitter blasts, our guess is that this is the first time millions of Americans heard anything at all about the First Step Act and prison reform. The emotional high point of the speech was his introduction of the two former inmates who became productive in prison and earned their reduced sentences. The political groundwork for criminal-justice reform was laid by others, but it wouldn’t have happened without Mr. Trump’s endorsement.

The biggest disappointment was his failure to reframe the immigration debate. He faces another government shutdown deadline at the end of next week over funding for the border. Yet he merely repeated his familiar parade of horribles about the border, the caravans moving north, and illegal immigrants who commit crimes. He is preaching to the converted and persuading no one else.

At least he added a grace note about legal immigrants and said they could come “in the largest numbers ever,” without any details. But he offered Democrats nothing about the Dreamers or anything else on immigration that would make them want to bend on funding “the wall.”

Mr. Trump sounded like someone who expects no compromise on immigration and thinks it will remain a stalemate through the next election. We may be headed to another pointless shutdown next week, or Mr. Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency” that would unite Democrats in opposition but divide Republicans. Mr. Trump will probably be talking about the wall for two more long years, which is not where he wants to be politically.

First Step

I too had never heard of First Step. In general, anything Trump does or says that has bipartisan support gets little play. A partisan press surely doesn't help.

Then again, everyone needs to question why some of these people are in prison in the first place. I suggest we legalize drugs and let the non-violent offenders free. Michael Bloomberg says that would be the dumbest thing ever, which is of course ridiculous.

The Wall

Trump again threw down the gauntlet on the wall. He mentioned the wall eleven times in his speech.

"I'll get it built," said Trump.

OK, what are the options?

Another absurd government shutdown? Is Nancy Pelosi supposed to suddenly cave? An emergency declaration?

Not a single one of those has the support of a majority of the Senate. And Trump did not even say or threaten an emergency.

Nor did Trump mention "dreamers". If he truly wanted to reach out to Democrats that was likely the word they wanted to hear.

Endless Wars

I certainly approve of Trump's comment "Great nations do not fight endless wars."


"Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence --- not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country."

If only we would practice just that.


The complete transcript does not do justice to Trump's delivery. Trump was articulate and witty. He cracked some jokes that both sides of the aisle liked. At least one was a clever ad-lib.

His address was as good as could have been expected, and I suspect far better than most expected.

But repeating forever "I'll get it built," does not get walls built, as we have seen.

If Trump wants a wall, he is going to have to give Nancy Pelosi a "dreamer compromise" or declare a national emergency. And it's possible that might not even work.

In short, Trump made a good delivery, but it is unlikely to result in any accomplishments.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (56)
No. 1-25

It wasn't a bad speech but Trump has set the bar as low as it gets and it definitely won't go down as a great one. More likely not much becomes of it. Trump is a damaged President and the damage has become far more apparent since Democrats took control of the house. Trump exposed himself as an emperor that wears no clothes after his shutting down of the government. And with yet another investigation into the Trump campaign by the Southern District it's very apparent Robert Mueller is the least of Trump's problems


I thought it was a superb speech rhetorically. Trump looked and sounded very presidential which made me hopeful. The question is can he pull it off? Actually reach across the aisle, compromise, and get things done? Or will he just fall back into his Fox News style lambasting of anyone who disagrees?


It’s about grabbing power, and voting your own self interests. The Dem’s strategy is to unite blacks, Spanish Indians, other folks who identify as colored, SJW’s, prudes and Puritans, Hillaryites, slackers, and those currrently offended for any reason, to vote in policies that benefit themselves. So higher taxes for more social programs, open borders, no ICE, more affirmative action, while continuing the status quo international and financial policies.


Good speech by Trump. He seemed presidential but still human. And he has accomplished a lot as a president.

Worst mistake is not starting to build the wall on day 1.

The first step act is the result of Kanye and Kim Kardashian lobbying Trump to pardon some of these people who had been convicted for long prison sentences for crimes where no violence was used and this led to Trump's daughter and Jared getting involved and things started moving and the end result was bi-partisan First step act.

At least CNN reported about the first step act and Van Jones was thanking Trump with a tear in his eye but since then CNN has returned to "trump very bad" 24/7.